Marketplace UX/UI design popular mistakes and how to avoid them
Take a look into modern society today. We are, for better or for worse, consumer-driven and dependent on the idea and the practice of money. From paying for a service to buying groceries or excursions and plane tickets, we look for new ways to spend our money. Designers are much more important that you would think in this world because they take the customer from the front page all the way to payment and check-out. They helped create what we call today a marketplace.
What is a Marketplace?
It’s a website or application designed to facilitate the purchase of goods and services. It is not a store, rather a mechanism that customers use to buy things. And nowadays, every company has some sort of marketplace tied into their business plan whether it is selling or buying. Marketplaces don’t have an inventory of items, they have a list of vendors and sellers that customers interact with on a transactional level.
Why Marketplaces Need Strong UX/UI Design
Since a marketplace is usually the first and last thing a customer interacts with, it’s important for the design to be almost flawless. Customers and sellers need to get from point A to point B without much trouble, like adding to cart and checking out. A strong design means that harmony is created between the customer and the seller. UX/UI marketplace designers are important to any growing business and should not be overlooked.
Best Marketplace UX Design Examples
Some examples of strong UX Design include things that make your experience a memorable and supportive one. The top marketplaces create this journey with the customer in mind, and it really showcases the intricate work done to provide only the best experiences.
Amazon often reminds users of Amazon Prime Free 2-Day shipping at check-out, and even offers it to first-time users before check out. Not only is this a friendly reminder of some great perks, it’s also used for on-boarding a new membership. Now, Amazon Prime is famous for its 2-day shipping at no extra cost.
Another great example of UX Design are food delivery apps such as Glovo and Uber Eats. They provide live updates of your order, from being cooked to being packaged, to even where your delivery is. Your courier’s information is also available to keep in contact with. Now you don’t have to worry about when your food will arrive, it will tell you exactly when it’s coming.
Applying for online courses can be difficult, but Udemy hits all the right marks when it comes to their UX/UI design. Their website is easy to navigate and all the information is clear to see. The search feature is comprehensive which a feature essential to great marketplaces. They also remind the user of limited-time offers, lifetime subscriptions and their benefits, and even their 30-day return policies without being overbearing or annoying.
Key Principles of Marketplace UX/UI Design
People visit websites to browse and check things out, but it takes a great design to keep their attention from start to finish. From looking at a product to checking out and confirming orders, the design needs to take into account the needs of the user to accommodate this process.
- Generate Positive Emotions
A customer is more likely to stay in the process on the website when it’s designed in a way to evoke positive emotions. Making a website and objects easy to work with provides that positive experience that users come back to. It also prompts them to take the next step which leads to eventually checking out.
- Know the customer base
Selling a product requires the customer to want it or need it. If you are selling clothes, images from different angles and colors and sizes will provide information to the customer that is shopping. This interaction shows the customer that their needs are being addressed without realizing it.
Making the experience simple and streamlined from start to finish requires a logic that can’t be questioned. From one step to the next, there should be a logic behind those decisions. Why does shipping come last at check-out, where do you enter promotion codes? Where do I sign-up for an account? These are things that need to be thought of logically when designing a marketplace.
UX/UI Requirements for Creating Marketplace
For a marketplace to function as a marketplace, there are certain requirements that need to be met and developed.
First of all, the type of marketplace should be established, is it B2B, B2C, or C2C? A marketplace for Business to Customer functions much differently than a marketplace for Business to Business would. For example, the information a customer would need on a website is limited to a few things like size, price, color and dimensions. But a business to business marketplace would need to know other things like stock numbers, bulk pricing, or even recurring and repeating orders. Knowing the types helps designers create the most efficient marketplace.
Safety and security is another requirement of a marketplace. Handling the finances of business and clients are especially important in design. Prompting users to confirm and re-confirm orders and numbers are the responsibility of the design. Without these steps, there can be many confusions with the shipping address, payment options and items bought. Transparency of the transaction secures the payment and will likely make customers come back to shop here. Feeling secure in a web order is important when designing a Marketplace.
Communication is key in marketplace design. Understanding the flow of a website or app provides a safe and smooth user experience. Designers must communicate logical steps and functions to the user by creating this experience. And the user must communicate back to the website or app to lead to transactional activity.
Best Practices for Marketplace UX/UI Design
There are many different marketplaces out there on the internet, but there are few things that can set one marketplace above all the others.
- Security and Transparency – this helps customers feel safe making transactions on a marketplace and understands that if there is anything wrong, they will be taken care of.
Lots of people leave websites and apps not because they don’t want to go shopping, it’s just that sometimes it can be difficult to get to check out that they just stop altogether.
In modern times, almost everyone has a phone or tablet to browse the web. People like to do things on the go, shopping is no different. Creating a great mobile website or mobile app will surely increase productivity for a marketplace.
Something as simple as pictures will lead to a better experience for the user. Believe it or not, not having pictures deters buyers from buying a product simply because they cannot see it.
Creating a Marketplace UX/UI Design
The first step to actually creating a marketplace starts like any other website or app design, using the UX/UI design life cycle.
- Initiation and Analysis
First step is to address and identify a need or objective to be fulfilled. What kind of marketplace is being built and what specificities are needed to accomplish this goal? This planning stage will always be referred back to during all stages because the planned course can always be edited and changed as needed.
- Development and Design
The objectives outlined in the first stage receives a solution created by UX/UI designers. This step involves different parts of the design team to provide their respective parts of the whole project. UX focuses on what a user should experience and UX focuses on HOW the user should experience this. Both teams plan and allocate the resources needed to complete the project.
The solution is implemented and the bulk of the design is carried out. The Business Analyst communicates the needs between the business side and the design side, making sure that the collaboration is clear and without any road bumps.
- Testing and Feedback
The iterations of the site or app are tested and feedback on UX/UI, logic, objectives, and efficiency are given. The business leaders provide feedback if their product is suitable for their business model, other designers test it to understand the product and can better improve it.
- Evolution and Innovation in UX/UI Design
With the feedback received from the testing stage, all teams go through the development and design stage again to address the changes. The process is repeated until the final product is reached and all objectives are met. Of course, with every design project, it is a living organism, it will continually grow and change as users continue to use it.
Common Marketplace UX UI Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Design plays an important role in our daily lives and even dictates how we buy and sell things on a day-to-day basis. Plenty of companies are flocking to UX/UI design to create a more profitable business, but many fail to achieve such a goal. They lack innovation or functionality to appeal to clients, they fall short when it comes to technical work, and don’t live up to their promises to their clients. Here are some general marketplace issues.
- Lack of customer trust towards sellers
Trust is built with users by having reputable security measures and connections. Knowing that a seller requires special captchas or logging-in to check out will put a user more at ease, rather than wondering if the will get their money back.
- Sub-Optimal User Journey
Getting from point A to point B shouldn’t prove to be difficult for users. Having to click on several links to get to your account information or your payment information will make users frustrated and eventually leave the website without a purchase. This is more of a marketplace design issue, so UX and UI are responsible for this.
- Lack of optimization for the Target Audience Many marketplaces fail to realize a niche for their buyers, and don’t get to optimize their experience. Amazon knows its customer base well enough that they created subscriptions for daily/weekly/monthly recurring purchases such as groceries or office supplies. Nike provides a special experience for trying on shoes by giving a 360 view of the shoe, pictures on foot, off foot, and even some augmented reality views of a certain shoe.
- Bad customer support
There will always be problems and there will always need to be customer support. But automated messages and e-mails distance the company from the buyer and makes it extremely impersonal. This is easily the easiest marketplace mistake Successful marketplaces provide only the best customer support and will give more than generic responses, and instead provide a genuine experience with support.
UX/UI Solutions for a Successful Marketplace
To combat these common mistakes in UX/UI marketplace design, there are solutions to ensure that your marketplace becomes successful and meets and exceeds your expectations.
- Quality Product Images and Clear Descriptions
This builds customer trust and support, knowing what the product is and what it looks like. It also demonstrates that the company comes prepared and knows all about the product being sold as well.
- An Efficient customer journey
The design of a website or app is meant to create interaction and an experience that is memorable for the user. It’s no different for a marketplace. The idea is to keep customers returning to your website whether or not they purchase something now, or later. This is done by making shopping online a great experience for them rather than a stressful one.
- Focus on Users and Audience
To separate yourself from the rest of the crowd, create a marketplace designated to your audience. Make the experience unique for the platform or product you sell. Having this niche and exploiting it will show that the user experience catered to them.
Think about how you go shopping next time you find yourself at a shopping mall or grocery store. Think of all the things that can go wrong or all the things that would make you extra happy to be there at the store. Then ask your friends and family to do the same, and compare. You’ll find that everyone is different and there are different things that make people happy or stressed. Your job is to use this experience and translate it into an online, digital market.
Marketplaces aren’t easy to build but there are plenty of ways to make the kind of marketplace you want. Avoid falling into the pitfalls of poor UX/UI design mistakes. UX/UI design is supposed to push the boundaries of ordinary things and makes it exciting for the average user, and shopping online should not be any different. Business is business after all.